Although Alabama has no official state nickname, it’s often referred to by its “unofficial” nickname, “The Heart of Dixie”. The motto began in the late 1940s and early 1950s as part of a public relations effort by the then Alabama Chamber of Commerce. The goal of the new slogan was to give Alabama a distinctive identity among other southern states. The state legislature soon passed a bill to add the slogan to license plates, with the motto first appearing in 1955.